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Romney 12, Joe Biden 8, Obama 5, Ryan 4, Jim Lehrer 4, Ohio 3, Florida 3, Paul Ryan 3, Washington 2, Virginia 2, Us 2, Barack Obama 2, Denver 2, Jack Kennedy 2, Jonathan 2, John Mccain 2, Wisconsin 1, Parkton 1, South Carolina 1, Sean Hannity 1,
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  WETA    Inside Washington    News/Business. Round-table  
   discussions feature journalists. (CC)  

    October 5, 2012
    8:30 - 9:00pm EDT  

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>> "inside washington" is brought to by the american federation of government employees. for more information and membership, visit afge.org. >> what do you think when you see a tree? a treatment for cancer? alternative fuel for our cars? did you think of hope for the environment, or food, clothing, shelter? we do. weyerhaeuser. growing ideas.
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>> mr. president, you are entitled to your own airplane and house, but not to your own facts. >> the first presidential debate, around 12 mitt romney. >> it is arithmetic. >> where was the president's fastball? >> i felt he should of been more aggressive. >> join the president on them stage, the beleaguered middle class. >> the middle class are getting crushed. >> that is what joe biden says. >> how they can justify raising taxes on the middle-class who have been buried the last four years. >> to joe biden. no, don't boo. he is the best thing we have got going, guys.
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>> it was the biggest brownson's encore. i read that in a column friday morning. on the cover 25th, 1415 on christmas day at parkton corps, king henry led his army to victory. charles the six was mentally incapacitated at the time of battle. that is as far as i want to take that one. agincourt? >> yes, you were there, as i recall. you covered it for the daily frog. it was quite a rout. when i wrote the column, i try to keep from gloating, but i'm not sure i succeeded. >> you did not. >> the washington punditry heavily supported by the polling concludes that government romney won the first debate hands down and that the president was off his game. >> you have been president four years.
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you said you would cut the deficit in half. we still have trillion dollar deficits. >> five weeks before the election, he says his big bold idea is, never mind. >> if there is any good news for the president after the debate is that the unemployment rate dropped below 8% from 8.1%, to 7.8%, the lowest since he took office. jonathan martin was on the ground for the debate in denver. you say romney took the debate stage with the top republican verging on panic. did this turnaround for them? >> they are backing away from the edge. there is no question that this was a make or break moment for governor romney. if he had not shown up like he did in denver, you would have seen a really ugly scene here. a lot of folks in his party would have backed away from him. this puts him back in the game, it restores confidence among other people running for the house and senate this year who are now happy to be seen with
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him. it gives them a real boost when they desperately need it. he still has problems and a lot of swing states. this puts them back in the game, it turns around the narrative. i am curious to see the next wave of polling. if he is closing the gap in the swing states, there will be immense pressure on president obama to show up in the second debate. >> the president's critics have said that he was essentially sleepwalking through history here, like he wanted to be somewhere else. >> he was sleepwalking through history. i do not think i have ever said this on television before. i told you so. he has never been a natural debater. he has to always be beaten almost by his tap into being a good debater. the only time i thought he was a superb evader was with john mccain, and they really had to knock him up to do that. he is a competitor, he will be that, but romney has done this
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consistently brought the campaign. he has been a very good debater when he had to be. he had good debates in the primaries when he needed to. obama, this was a very big missed opportunity. looking down all the time was legal. >> colby? where was the presence fastball? >> he did not have it. he did not have anything. they are dancing in the end zone, the republicans, but they are not even at halftime. the president did not bring his game. you cannot blame anybody, not the moderator, jim lehrer, how he handled it, you cannot blame the remarks of romney. the president, i believe, fair warning is fair play. he knew exactly what kind of the bitter romney was. he only needed to look at the videotape from florida. he did everything wrong. the optics were wrong, looking
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down, not looking at him in the eyes. he did not have responses. he let mitt romney get away with saying things, like this $716 billion number for medicare. which was not true. he let him get away with that. >> he never even mention the last opportunity in the last few weeks, the 47% video. that was a gift to the obama campaign. they have been running ads across the country but the president never mentioned it once. >> that romney told sean hannity that he was sorry that he said that. >> it was a mistake. >> i never said this on television, but need is right. she actually stumbled on the truth. obama is not a good debater. it is not that obama was off his game. that is his game. he does not have a prompter, he is not good. you see this in press conferences, where he does not
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have a prompter. he had never been good at press conferences. he rambles, the press is always unimpressed with him. this was a situation where yet more control of the debate, because he picks the questionnaire, and he can decide how long he wants to take for the answer. his only advantage in the next debate will be this. it will be in a town hall. he has got more ability to connect with an audience than romney. he will have an advantage in the second debate that he did not have been the first. >> would you rather be good or lucky? 7.8% unemployment rate. that is pretty good news. >> unless you look at the actual numbers. if you look at those with new jobs, about 114,000. you have to have 150,000 to stay at the same rate. what has been happening is you have people leaving the work force, retiring, or read a wait a minute, nina -- or when you
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become chronically unemployed, over the one year, you drop off the rolls and are not put in the denominator. when that happens, the rate falls artificially. >> psychologically, having broken the% barrier. >> you have a continual growth in jobs. the pace is not where it should be, but that is the bottom line. allow me, please. i am not jim lehrer. allow me. please. please. i am not barack obama. >> he clearly has control. >> the fact is, this jobs number will not make a difference. the difference is what barack obama does in the next two rounds. it was a very poor performance. you have to give credit to mitt romney who was on his game he
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made his arguments. not say that he very from the truth, that is neither here nor there. he argued the case effectively. >> the economy created 5 billion -- million jobs in the past few years. is that true? >> i do not know. these numbers are so squishy. it is not 100% clear to me who is right about jobs. what i know is when they were saying on friday morning when they release those numbers, that for the first time, more people who were out of the work force were getting jobs. that is news. >> it is also important to keep in mind who had been hard hit by the economy. largely younger americans, african-americans, or hispanics. those who are either not going to vote or are supporting president obama. so i think you have got a pool of swing voters out there who are actually doing better right now in this economy than many people. >> let us talk about
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entitlements. >> if you are 60 or older, you do not need to listen any further. but for younger people, we need to talk about what changes will be occurring. >> if you are 54 or 55, you may want to listen. this will affect you. >> this was the debate over congressman ryan's plan to turn medicare into a voucher program. when it comes to social security, the president says it needs to be tweaked, that medicare needs some serious attention. colby, we have been bellyaching about entitlements for years. ryan has a plan to do something about it, so what is the problem? >> he would, in effect, turn medicare into a voucher program. the president touched on it but did not stay with it, allowed romney to get away with it. the voucher program would cause people to have to then take a chunk of change, credit from the government, and go out and buy their own insurance. but only a limited amount of
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money would be available. if the costs go up, the people that get that, would have to pay the difference. the guarantee would be gone. that is the substance of how they would deal with medicare, and that is the way it will be. the president did not make the case as effectively as he should have on that. >> that is factually wrong. let me just say, that is completely, factually wrong. under the romney plan, the amount of money the government will give you will be equal to the amount of the second lowest bid, meaning you can then get that plan for nothing, or a cheaper plan -- there will be one plan cheaper -- and keep the extra money for your pocket. so you will have a choice with no expenditure on your part of at least two plants, and you also have the option of traditional medicare. >> allow me to add some facts
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here. under this precept, what i support is no change for current retirees and retirees for medicare. that is what mitt romney says. here is how it works. he would repeal obamacare. the 16 million senior citizens who are now getting preventive services would lose this. they would get preventive care without deductibles or copays. may i say, $3.9 billion. that would go out the window. that is what would happen with mitt romney's program. >> let me look at the big picture here. obama it is we day they are both completely disingenuous about this. the voucher plan will cost people seriously, as a move down the road in terms of services. at least as it is now formulated. there is no way we can continue to spend what we spend now on medicare without some serious
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challenges, not just tweaking. >> jonathan? >> romney says that the president will still $716 billion from medicare. is that accurate? >> it is in terms of what they're projecting over the years, reducing costs from medicare to make obamacare neutral. what he does not mention is paul ryan made the same projections for his original plan, but needed is right. both of these candidates are not being totally straight with the voters. president obama goes after romney and ryan in the way that the democrats always go after the gop when it comes to entitlements, but as we know, last summer, president obama was having to make changes to medicare in exchange to getting a grand bargain. if he is reelected, he will have to go back to the table, and i'm sure the same question will be on the table again. he says he is open to make some changes.
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>> let me explain the difference between what obama would do with the $716 billion, and what the romney -- what paul ryan would do. obama takes the money out of medicare and reduces the payments to doctors and hospitals, which obviously reduces services. 16 of all hospitals will have to shut down or refuse the elderly. he takes the money, the seven and 16 he saves, and places it into a new entitlement called obamacare, which will fund the uninsured. a good cause, but it is taking from to a and giving to be. what ryan does, he takes the original plan, takes the same amount, but he puts it back into the medicare trust fund so as a way to invest in the future. medicare, it is a way to say that we are going to cut a little bit now and we will have it in the out years. under the normal plan, with no changes, you would have nothing in the out years. >> ryan has dropped that to to
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came on. >> that 716 comes from the beneficiaries. do not take anything away from the beneficiaries from medicare. it does not. >> give me a break. >> give me a break. we have to take a break. more on taxes. >> governor romney possible economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of the bush tax cuts -- another trillion -- and another $2 trillion in additional military spending that they have not asked for. >> i do not have a $5 trillion tax cut. i do not have a tax cut the scale you are talking about. we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle-class. i'm not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high- income people. >> does mitt romney have a five other trillion tax cut proposal or not? >> i wonder what jack kemp was thinking, hearing a republican on stated that he want to deny cutting taxes for everyone across the board. it was striking for me to hear a
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nominee of the gop in 2012 running away from a big tax cut plan. it speaks to two things, the effect of the obama campaign against romney and his tax cut plan, portraying tax cuts for the rich that would blow a hole in the deficit, and secondly, it speaks to a shift in the conservative movement slightly away from tax cuts, to deficit reduction. that is the new focus on the right. spending, that said, and that. romney was making that argument. -- spending, deficit, and debt. >> that was a complete misinterpretations, and i say so with all due respect. >> you do not do all due respect with me. >> hospitality. >> your eating up time. >> they keep interrupting me.
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>> it is my turn to talk. >> there is a distinction. you overlook the distinction. tax rates and tax revenue. mitt romney is saying it -- how plan the can i make it? we are going to cut rates but we will not reduce the amount of revenue, exactly as what happened in 1986 with the reagan tax reform, because you have cut the rates, eliminated deductions, and you end up with the same amount of revenue. it is what was recommended in the commission that obama appointed. >> there is study after study after study that shows even if he succeeded in doing it, it is not enough to achieve the targets we're talking about. what is interesting, you never hear romney say, no new taxes. you do not hear him say that. >> colby? >> fact. he proposes a 20% across-the-
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board tax cut. >> marginal tax rate. >> alternative minimum tax. he proposes tax deductions in reducing the federal deficit by 2015. what that means is, over time, the analysis shows, $5 billion over the next decade. >> i am sorry, read my lips, we are running short on time. the joe and paul the day. >> this is deadly earnest. how they can justify, how they can justify raising taxes on the middle-class, who have been very the last four years. how come in lord's name, can they justify raising their taxes? >> vice-president biden just today said that the middle- class, over the last four years has been "buried." we agree. that means we need to stop digging, by electing a run in
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next president of the united states. >> what do you think, jonathan? >> you talk to a lot of folks in the romney campaign and is a joe biden is the gift that keeps on giving. you saw him pause when he said four years. i think he meant to say 10 years or something. it came out wrong. this is fodder for the romney campaign. all not changed, i do not think, in a huge way, the course of events. there is no question that the obama campaign folks, every time joe biden is out there, partners about how it will come out. they would prefer to have barack obama cleaning up barack obama this week, rather than joe biden cleaning him up. >> what do you think? vice-presidential debate is coming up. >> it just so happens that joe biden and paul ryan respect each other and get along very well. there were debt negotiations with those two were the ones that had the best rapport of all
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the participants. i think it will be a fun and enjoyable debate. joe biden has a good sense of humor. you are not going to see him and barack obama in the debate. >> i hope it is an existing debate. there were 50 million people watching the first debate. the question i have is, for how long? i was sitting there thinking, ok, obama did not show up to play. this is unbelievably boring. if i did not have to do this for a living, i would watch a show that i wanted to. >> it depends on your perspective. i found it fascinating. i was seized. my attention did not lapse for an hour-and-a-half. i think he might be slightly skewed. if you saw the joe biden clip, how does a man of uncertain age maintain such a high level of
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indignation, continuously, without getting a heart attack? can you believe he is doing all this stuff? i think he needs to go easy. i say that as a medical opinion, not a political opinion. laying in the weeds he said that we will raise your taxes. i am sure that obama love to hear that. >> did we underestimate mitt romney? it has even this could all along? >> he can be good in this setting. he is not a motive, touchy- feely, but as a businessman, he always loved information. >> especially numbers. >> he knew this was a corporate. he had robert portman playing obama, and he apparently was pretty rough on him. really talk to back to him and said, you cannot do that. you have done this badly. he is not used to hearing that, but he took it, because he understood this was the performance of his life.
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and it was the performance of his life. he had a co-conspirator, and unwilling one, in obama, who did not show up to play. but i think this would have been a great debate the matter what. >> i think people do not realize that mitt romney is a very smart man, articulate, and we saw this in the primary, he is capable of absorbent a lot of information about his opponents, and that's putting it back out. but folks forget, this is one of the most evenly matched debates on the presidential level and i do not know how many years. george w. bush, john mccain, and bob dole, they could not debate. republicans finally have someone on stage that could take it to the democrats. >> focusing the mind. >> it is the prospect of hanging that focuses the mind. >> either way, you are dead. >> give romney credit for this.
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he is a fighter. he came out and was behind in south carolina. he pulled together in florida. he took on newt gingrich. he did the same thing to him what he did to obama. he was well prepared. he was confident. he showed that he could go toe to toe with the president, looking in the eye, and not be condescending or patronizing. he dealt with obama the way that obama should i dealt with him. >> in the 50 years of presidential debates, i do not think there has been a debate in which there was such a decisive win in the absence of a gaffe. if you have one like the one with ford in eastern europe, others along the way, it is decisive. it is usually a muddled outcome, or one of the bad moments, like, i knew jack kennedy, you're no jack kennedy. but there was no sound bite in this. one other point. the moderator. i know jim lehrer has taken a lot of abuse because it lost
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control of the debate. we want a moderate and not to be in control. why should he be in control? the debate ought to be about the participants. i think if the moderator, ever in the future, says we have to stop this and move on, i would like to hear what candidates say, why? besides we have to have six segments instead of five. >> i have to agree on this one. the criticism of jim lehrer is off base. i noticed in the debate from top to time, obama weblog to him as if to say, help me, jim. that was not jim lehrer's role. >> in that case, the candidates should simply ask each other questions. >> let me ask you about donna brown states. as of friday, realclearpolitics average, obama, 7.6 in watching -- wisconsin been in pennsylvania, 10. new hampshire, six.
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ohio, 5.5. virginia, 3.5. will those numbers change? >> i think he was a tightening of the race. certainly, florida and virginia will be competitive. the problem is ohio. no republican has ever won the white house without winning ohio. there is a path to do it, but it is so narrow to get to 270 without ohio. he has a class problem in ohio. it is hard for him to relate to working-class voters there, who by the way, are not thrilled about obama, but as mike huckabee said, romney reminds them of the guy that fire them. that is a problem. >> if you look at the day-by-day poll, the post-debate members, each category, with the government immigration to social security, medicare, whatever, obama is leading in each category, except maybe iraq, which was not mentioned.
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>> all because of the debate? >> i think was happening even before the debate. these pieces tend to tighten unless it is a total -- let me just finish, guys. i do think, to the great plea to all of us, then this will be a down to the wire race. it will be very close. >> you get the last word. thank you. see you next week. >> for a transcript of this broadcast, log onto insidewashington.tv.
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